South Africa's ICT industry is looking up and aiming high in spite of a downward trend in the sector internationally.
Recent financial results from a leading ICT company indicate that calculated risks and careful investment in true transformation are pivotal to continuing success.
After the first full financial year of integrating its subsidiaries following its merger in November 2007, listed ICT company Adapt IT Holdings can truly vouch for the success of its vision and BEE strategy.
The young company's turnover grew 33% year-on-year to R75 million while its earnings per share grew by 18% to 9,44 cents per share. The percentage growth in earnings per share was lower than the percentage growth in earnings attributable to ordinary shareholders due to the shares issued in respect of the merger.
In light of its acquisitive strategy and the current economic environment, Adapt IT is increasing its dividend cover in order to retain a greater proportion of retained income.
"Right now, it is the prudent decision to conserve cash, and we will look to invest in good business opportunities should they arise," explains Siboniso Shabalala, Adapt IT's newly appointed Finance Director.
Accordingly, the company has declared a seventh annual ordinary dividend of 1,86 cents per share, presenting a dividend cover of five times.
The company's active investment in skills development, as well as its strong focus on BBBEE principles, have received recognition within the industry in the past financial year, obtaining an independent broad-based rating from Empowerdex in which it was rated as a Level 3 contributor to broad-based black economic empowerment.
Furthermore, the company is rated as seventh most empowered company on the JSE according to the Financial Mail's Top Empowerment Companies survey in April 2009 and was awarded the Alec Rogoff BBBEE Award (Large Corporate category) at the Durban Chamber of Commerce and Industry Annual Dinner just over a week ago.
"Education and skills development, in spite of the economic downturn, will ensure the correct demographic mix through BEE policies in order to realise growth within the business as well as the economy", says Sbu Shabalala, Adapt IT CEO.
A new Infrastructure and Network division is now in place to take advantage of the opportunities that will present themselves when Seacom's new cable goes live in June this year, opening up bandwidth access to the continent.
Adapt IT plans to take advantage of the increased public sector ICT needs for stricter management control through its strong Information Management competencies, as well as continue to focus on health and safety solutions and existing IT services to the manufacturing and mining industries.
Over the next financial year, Adapt IT will pay careful attention to the diversification of its business offerings, while keeping in line with its strategy of continually adding value to its existing customer base to ensure healthy client retention in this tough economic climate.
The company will concentrate on sound internal systems, compliance and governance in order to maximise business efficiency.
The ICT industry in South Africa plays a pivotal role in the development of the country's overall business sector. With the expansion and growth, in terms of revenue as well as its people, of formidable players like Adapt IT, the country's economic growth is strongly underpinned.
- Mediaweb Online